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Locating and Reconnecting with Sierra Leonean Descendants in the Diaspora | Jamaica

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Locating and Reconnecting with Sierra Leonean Descendants in the Diaspora | Jamaica

Locating and Reconnecting with Sierra Leonean Descendants in the Diaspora | Jamaica

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The Maroon Connection to Sierra Leone Re-awakened

On October 11, 2010, I received an email from a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer to Jamaica who had been in Trelawny Town from 2008 – 2010. When David Ingleman arrived in Flagstaff, the dream of many in the community was to send a Maroon delegation from Flagstaff to Freetown, Sierra Leone to look for Maroon descendants there. They found quite a bit, including a church full of Maroon descendants. They ended up igniting the first trans-Atlantic Maroon connection for over more than 160 years when Nicole Fergusson and Knute “Cutie” Cameron, along with Ingleman, traveled to Sierra Leone.

Nicole and Kutie left Jamaica in 2011 to visit Sierra Leone

In 1841, some of those 600 Maroons who landed in Freetown in 1800 returned to Jamaica from Sierra Leone. And in 1864, as if it was not already complicated, some of the now Sierra Leonean Maroons that returned to Jamaica in 1841 went back to Sierra Leone. A crisscross of Maroon descendants between Jamaica and Sierra Leone. We had to repay the courtesy as was promised to them back in 2011.

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Amadu Massally was born in the West African nation of Sierra Leone, but he moved to the United States as a young man in order to obtain higher education. Upon his return to Sierra Leone in 2009, he became very active in governance and from the Office of the President where he worked, he was instrumental in setting up the Millennium Change Corporation office and initiated the Open Government Partnership in the country, among other things. Since 2006 he has delved in reconnecting with descendants of Sierra Leone, and the Gullahs especially. Currently he operates with a broader span that has led him to re-establish links with Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. He currently works as a Senior Consultant with the World Bank on a Sierra Leone diaspora initiative to galvanize their resources into investments back home.

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